BEHIND THE SONG:
"You should write a lullaby from Mary to Jesus." -my sister in law, Emily, had a great idea. I had just finished babysitting one of her daughters - my precious little bitty baby niece, Della. I come to think of it, having held a baby all afternoon that day, who was only a few months old at the time, probably had a lot more to do with this song than I realized until just now. I was in the middle of writing and working on my Christmas EP at the time, so that day I went home and picked up my guitar, trying to imagine what Mary may have been feeling holding the king of heaven in her arms. It was truly delightful - the realization that followed after pondering how Mary must have wanted to wipe tears from her little one's eyes, like any mother does when her child is crying...how she surely wanted to offer her arms as a place of rest for her little one...how she surely hummed a tune to try to calm him in the night...or sang a melody out of pure joy to be holding this miracle in her arms.....and then seeing the parallel to the precious heart of God with his children.
he will wipe away every tear (revelation 21:4) he offers rest (matthew 11:28) he will rejoice over you with singing (zepheniah 3:17)
I continued trying to wonder what she must have wondered. A home video came to mind - the one of me as toddler, where I fall down on the sidewalk in front of my childhood home and hurt my knee. I cry for a few seconds, demanding my mama to "kiss it" - sure enough, my mom bends down (camera in hand) "you want me to kiss it? OK, i'll kiss it...mwah" - and then, like magic, I pop up and run along - good as new. The irony profoundly struck me. Isn't that the heart of God? That we might trust Him enough and trust that his love is big enough to make us good as new, just with a simple touch? I wondered if Mary ever leaned down in love and kissed her little one's scraped knee or bruised arm. I wonder if she could fathom how God touches our wounds and they are healed. That his touch can reach the deepest, darkest wounded place in me and with love make me brave, courageous, strong, and most of all - healed. Because of that little one. Because of Jesus. Because my life is forever burried his life. My flaws are forever burried in his perfection.
I thought about how wonderful of a celebration it must have been when Mary entered heaven's gates. When she saw him face to face once again - after a life of human suffering and pain - joy too...but longing, so much longing, I'm sure - to see that face again. To embrace those arms again. To look in those eyes and to hear that laugh. It wasn't easy to let him go, to live through her child's death, I'm sure... even though it was to cover humanity in grace. What unthinkable joy must have bloomed in Mary's heart when her heaven days began, and tears were no more. She was forever healed and forever safe, forever finding rest in his arms. At this point it's no longer just a Mary thing, but a every-human-heart-that-trusts-that-God-loves-them thing. What a celebration it will be when there is no more shame. No more guilt. No more pain and no more crying. Just rest. Just peace forever. We have glimpses on earth, in our most trusting moments, of this rest - and we are urged, even now, to have that rest. To be held and sung over and comforted. One day every tear will be wiped away. My heart sighs with relief at this thought and I am tickled as I ponder the joy set before me.
sleep baby Jesus, sleep my son-- for the dreams of your heart are seeds that will grow into roots that become a tree to shade the earth below. i can wipe the tears from your eyes now. i can lay your head on my chest. i can rejoice over you with singing now. i can offer you a place to rest.
my, how things will turn around - but for now - R E S T I N MY A R M S, my child.
i can't help but imagine - one day, you might cry...after playing outside, like little boys do - get a scrape on your knee and say, "mama, will you kiss my wounded hurt - make it all better now?" and you'll thank me through a waterfall of tears...and then you'll run along all strong and brave and healed now. and just like that, trouble will disappear. my, how things will turn around - but for now - R E S T I N MY A R M S, my child. i can almost see it--when I'm free and running to you! When the weight of this world passes away...and i know that heaven's warmth will keep me safe through all the nights, but a day will come when we won't need the sun--your glory will light up the place. at last, i will see your face and hear you say: "I can wipe the tears from your eyes now. I can lay your head on my chest. I can rejoice over you with singing now. I can offer you a place to rest.
R E S T I N MY A R M S. R E S T I N MY A R M S. R E S T I N MY A R M S. R E S T I N MY A R M S. Even now, R E S T I N MY A R M S, My child. "